I did not realize when I joined Goldman Sachs that I could have three careers in Real Estate — as a real estate investment banker, as a real estate merchant banker, and as a real estate developer/asset manager — without ever having to leave the firm.
I received a BA from Yale and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. As a young lawyer at a large New York City corporate law firm, I worked with several investment banking teams on large real estate transactions and litigations. I was always impressed with the bankers from Goldman Sachs, and I decided that I wanted to change careers to become an investment banker with the firm.
I applied to several M.B.A. programs and when I was admitted to business school, I resigned from my law firm job. When my clients at Goldman Sachs heard that I would be leaving the practice of law to go to business school so that I could pursue a job in investment banking, they asked me to interview with them for a summer internship following my first year of business school. After eighteen interviews with representatives of Goldman Sachs, they made me an offer to join their Real Estate Investment Banking team. That offer came exactly one week before I was scheduled to start my M.B.A. classes. I landed my dream job at my preferred firm without having to complete another graduate degree.
I co-lead Goldman Sachs’ Corporate Services and Real Estate group. Our group is responsible for supplying a wide variety of services to the firm, including the real estate that the firm uses to conduct its business. Currently, Goldman Sachs works out of approximately 170 locations across 92 cities in over 30 countries. As the firm has continued to grow its business lines in several of our existing locations (e.g., Bengaluru, Salt Lake City, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Mexico City), as well as its business platforms in new locations, our team has been leading the charge in finding appropriate places for the firm to do business.
We are responsible for ensuring that all of the firm’s businesses have office space, data centers and business continuity facilities to support their needs. Sometimes we develop our own facilities (e.g., 200 West Street in New York, 30 Hudson Street in New Jersey and data centers in London and New York), and sometimes we lease them. Next door to our global headquarters in New York, we own a hotel and retail complex. We also own sites where we might one day develop additional facilities.
Having a global role enables me to monitor different real estate markets all around the world. It also gives me exposure to a wide array of landlords and developers. Every market is different, with different dynamics and laws; this makes for a very challenging and energizing experience.
My work is very team-based. Members of my team are located in Jersey City, London, Bengaluru, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. We would not be able to adequately cover all of the Goldman Sachs locations unless we worked effectively as a team. The most challenging part of the job is working with teams across several different time zones, where different languages are spoken, and where different legal systems and real estate products exist.
I have found there to be a wide array of opportunities at Goldman Sachs. In my 20 years at the firm, I have spent ten years working in Real Estate Investment Banking, two working in Real Estate Merchant Banking, and eight in Corporate Real Estate. In addition, I have also worked on a variety of real estate projects with Goldman Sachs' Special Situations group and the Realty Management Division - two other businesses that are very real estate intensive.
There is nothing more rewarding than helping the firm establish a business in a new location. Having Goldman Sachs employees enter a new office space and feel like they are “at home” is very rewarding.